Thursday, June 24, 2010

Going of the Grid: A Sydney Dream

When the day begin with a book, a book falling on your head, quickly followed by a thong fluttering down from above afterwards, it's obvious that the day – well it might not be a great one.

Going off the grid. It's a thing that people do. Normally we think of them as crazy people. But just taking small steps, well that would make life interesting.

No laptop, no blog, no camera – well maybe a camera, so when I die there can be a final photo that they can use before the ending credits in the movie about my life that was. Just for a little while anyway, even a week? But then when you go back on the grid, there's everything compounding you.

My Sydney friend, she was off visiting a real place like this – all the energy was generated, and all that jazz. Nothing but a house, doing and getting everything in needs from the land. Me? I just want to not have to think.

So I think I'm going to just back out of everything now. I am going to the states in a few days. Provided they let me through their borders. I am a little worried about this, I'm not going to lie. I always am.

I need to meet up with some people in Buffalo. You could call them my parents. They will be grabbing stuff from me, giving stuff to me, and saying hi. Heaven forbid this be easy. Were we in Canada I could just say meet under the giant Frankenstein Burger King. But no, this is America where they decide not to do anything fancy for the massive falls. They just shuffle people over the Canada. We'll take em.

The internet claims that there is a visitors centre there, but there is no address for it. All I want is a parking lot near the water to meet up and hang things over, and then start off from there. Could it be easier? Apparently it could be. It really, really, could be.

But that's it. I'm out. I'm just going to not worry about it anymore, show up at the airport, and hope that the world takes care of itself. And if it doesn't? Whatever. Screw it. Because – as I said – I'm out.

So, before the last few frustrating hours, which were compounded by the fact that I trusted the internet at the Sydney docks rather than the state library (very slow – very very slow – slower than Africa. And that? That was slow.)

Ugh – but there was a world before all that. After the falling items earlier mentioned, the girl in the bunk above jumped down to reclaim her gear without a word, then shoved it into her pack, stripped the sheets off her bed, and went to check out.

The world outside was a we bit wet and misty, but I pushed on, wandering down George street to see what that area held. I found a Coles super market and ducked inside. Grabbing four cheese and bacon buns at the low low price of two dollars fifty, I then went in search of Tzatziki. This is always a fools errand, but sometimes the world decides to be nice to you – the world decides that it will reward you for your hard work and servitude. Sometimes the world puts just the right about of tzatziki on sale, with only the required amount left on the shelf.

Then the world screws with you by pricing two liters of juice cheaper than five hundred mls, but the two liters is in a non-resealable carton, and drinking that much at once wouldn't be good. Though, it will be remembered for later purchasing.

Two buns and some Tzat were devoured, the other half being saved for later [authors note: that later should be right now, but i don't think the library would be happy with me. Soon I will escape and being to eat once more.]

As I continued down George street I found myself once more drawn to the Apple Store, and Plants vs. Zombies. Stupid tower defense goodness. I once more want an ipod touch. Actually I kinda want the iPad for the HD version, but the game is not worth 1000 bucks. And I still don't like the feel of the iPad in my hands.

When I left the glass omni dome, I found myself in a good bit of rain. People were running with umbrellas, pulling coats over their heads, and covering themselves with their mid day yoga mats.

I walked casually down the street. Just rain. It's not even as if it were that heavy. I couldn't be bothered to so much as grab my hat from my pack.

I made my way down to the museum of contemporary art, where I soon realized why I disliked contemporary art. The models of the stealth bomber, and the russian apc were pretty cool, decked out in Maori art, but the video of a guy sucking helium, singing a hymn, and letting a picture of himself go up into the air? Well that was just obnoxious. And then there's the next floor up, where everything is a vagina. Vagina, vagina, vagina. Ohh the sculptures, and the drawings, and the “hidden subtleties.” Uh huh. Great.

Then there was the video of french people in white faces, with Queen Amadala make up, playing with card board tubes. Ugh. Really? Why – but relief came when the aboriginal art took up a room or two. It was identicle to that from the other art gallery – but there you go, a culture that doesn't screw up contemporary art by trying to make it something its... not something it's not, but something it should be.

Honestly – I'm throwing this out there – who looks at that stuff and thinks, wow! That man is an artist! See how he sucks helium and sings a hymn? If only I could live up to that some day.

You look at a good painting? Sure, there's something to it. Or a movie – even something on the scale of the first Night of the Living Dead. There's art there. But this? Ai ya.

Still – the gallery did let me last out the rain, and there were a few reasons to wander through it – it was free after all. But, with so much time gone, and the sky still not looking all that friendly, I would put my original plans on hold. Tomorrow – provided there is no water falling down from above (or books, or underwear – foreshadowing) then I'll head back to the docks, jump on the ferry, and go off to some magical art island. Surely there will be something to pique my interest there. It's a whole island after all.

But with that said, it's time to pack up, leave the library behind me, and continue on with my day. My mission? Find a place to relax. I just want to hang out, read my book – finish my book, and do nothing. This requires some sun, and a dry bench however. We'll see if the fates are aligned with my plans.

On the plus side, the weather forecasts says:

(24th) Tomorrow – rain
(25th) Friday – not so much rain
(26th) Saturday – AFL game – rain
(27th) Sunday – Rain
(28th) Monday – day I fly out – Sunny! And sunny from then on out! YAY!

The fates were not kind to me. Despite the fact that all the websites claimed that it was sunny, it was not. No, no. There was rain. And oh the rain there was. Stepping outside, the weather had become the worst it was all day. I spent the next ten to fifteen minutes ducking under all coverings, and overhangs – trying not to get nailed by people's umbrellas – who seemed to be disgusted by the idea that their umbrella should get wet.

I ducked into my Plants vs. Zombies shop hoping to wait out the rain. The rain got worse. Up the street I went, chowing down on Tzat and rolls, until I grabbed more Hungry Jacks. I filled up on soda, bless their refillable machines, while reading some of my book. I had every intent to finish it when I got back to the hostel, but the open plug socket led me towards finishing listening to my backlogged podcasts – except for the educational ones from Radiolab, which I will get to when I don't hate myself. I do so enjoy them. There's still hope that the novel will get itself finished reading.

On to the worst thing about co-ed bathrooms. I don't care what the girls will say, maybe something about them not being clean (they always are) or the seats being up (deal with it – three seconds to rectify.) It's the fact that if you want to get near the sink, well just give up. Don't deal. Make up, so much make up. So very – very – oh it's too tiring to even go on about. Anyway, it's terrible. I don't seem to recall this problem from the university dorm days.

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